The ever revolving White House employment door

Is Attorney General William Barr the next to be given a pink slip by the ever revolving White Houses human resources department? More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials who served in Republican as well as Democratic administrations posted a statement calling on Barr to resign.

“Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words. Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign. But because we have little expectation he will do so, it falls to the Department’s career officials to take appropriate action to uphold their oaths of office and defend nonpartisan, apolitical justice,” the officials wrote in a statement.

Even with all the hot water Barr has endured, he is ordering a re-examination of several high-profile cases, including that of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Barr had also been pressing for a sentence for Flynn that would spare him from prison.

In recent months, Flynn changed lawyers and has waged a campaign to portray himself as a victim of malicious prosecutors. He is asking a judge to dismiss his case or allow him to change his plea to not guilty. Flynn’s new counsel, has included unfounded conspiracy theories in the counsel’s filings and accused Robert Mueller of suppressing exculpatory evidence and scheming against Flynn for political purposes. Flynn has said under oath that he was guilty of lying to the FBI.

Prosecutors with the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York are considering whether to charge Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and at least one of his business partners with misleading potential investors for Fraud Guarantee, the Florida-based company that paid Giuliani $500,000. That payment to Giuliani for work with Fraud Guarantee came just as Parnas and an associate began helping Giuliani arrange meetings in Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

In the case of Fraud Guarantee, investigators have focused on the marketing pitch, specifically examining whether the men duped investors about the value of the company and how they intended to use the proceeds, the people familiar with the investigation say.

US intelligence officials told lawmakers last week that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign by aiming to cast doubt on the integrity of the vote and boost Trump’s re-election. But Donald Trump’s Republican allies on the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee questioned the assessment presented by officials of the Office of National Intelligence.

Trump rebuked acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire for allowing his staff to appear before the committee and he was replacing Maguire on an acting basis with Richard Grenell, a strong Trump loyalist who has served as ambassador to Germany since 2018. Grenell has no experience in the intelligence community.

So here we go again. Over 3 years of Trump thinking [or otherwise] that the country thinks he won the election because of election interference from Russia and it is starting again before the elections. And again, Trump prefers not to believe his own intelligence agencies or maybe he thinks friend [or master] Russia President Vladimir Poutine would never do this or maybe he wants Russia to help him.

And yet, the US, UK, and Georgia [the country] accused the Russian military of being behind a major 2019 cyber-attack on Georgia that disrupted “several thousand Georgian government and privately-run websites and interrupted the broadcast of at least two major television stations.”

Trump’s acting [aren’t they really all?] chief of staff Mick Mulvaney railed against the so-called “deep state” during an appearance at the Oxford Union in the UK recently. Federal workers are not in their jobs to “make decisions” and should quit if they disagree with Trump’s agenda. Damn, if workers followed that, there would be huge government openings.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has sentenced Roger Stone, an adviser and friend to Trump, to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress and threatening a witness regarding his efforts for the President’s 2016 campaign. Stone also receive two-years probation on each count, running concurrently.

“Roger has a very good case for exoneration in my opinion” said Trump after the sentence was handed down. Of course, he will decide who gets pardoned!

“He was treated unfairly.” Trump says that for any friend of his who was arrested and/or sentenced.

Trump claims that the forewoman of the juror had a heavy bias during Stones trial. Now he mentions it? The judge will look into it. But you know how Trump is – no proof.

Unsure why now [is there ever a reason with him?] but Trump gave clemency to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich [corruption] and financier Michael Milken [securities laws] as well as pardoning former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik [tax fraud and lying to DoHS] and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. [gambling fraud]. Seven others, some Republican supporters, were also given clemency or pardons.

“I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country,” Trump said after the pardons and clemencies. Though the President is the head of the executive branch, America’s real chief law enforcement official is Barr. But he can believe what he wants. He can be the chief toilet bowl cleaner as well.

Not surprisingly, Barr had considered resigning over Trump’s interference in his department, including Trump’s tweets that he said recently made it impossible for him to do his job. Barr probably would deny this.

Hackers are taking advantage of tweets from Giuliani that contain typos in domain names. Hackers buy the mistype domain names and redirect visitors to fake pages to spread malware. One would lead users to a website prompting visitors to download a Google Chrome extension, which would read people’s browsing history and change their default search engine.

“How bad were the Academy Awards this year, did you see? ‘And the winner is … a movie from South Korea,’…. What the hell was that all about? We’ve got enough problems with South Korea with trade, on top of it they give them the best movie of the year?” Trump said. The distributor responded with “Understandable, he can’t read,” as the movie has subtitles.

Trump will headline the most expensive fundraiser of his presidency at the Palm Beach, Florida, home of billionaire Nelson Peltz where each couple donates the $580,600 price of entry. Odd number. Over $10 million will go to his campaign, the Republican National Committee and 11 state Republican parties.

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that a former US congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, offered him a pardon on behalf of Trump, in exchange for denying Russian involvement in the Democratic National Committee email leak. The White House and the congressman have strongly denied Trump’s involvement in the matter. Rohrabacher said he had never spoken to Trump about Assange and that the visit was “my own fact finding mission.”

White House Press Secretary Stephanie “Parrot” Grisham dismissed Fitzgerald’s claim as “a total lie…. The President barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than he’s an ex-congressman. He’s never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject. It is a complete fabrication and a total lie. This is probably another never ending hoax and total lie from the DNC.” Sounds like her boss. Hence the Parrot name.

Senate Republicans blocked an effort by Democrats to unanimously pass three election security-related bills, marking the latest attempt to clear legislation ahead of the November elections. The Democrats tried to get consent to pass two bills that require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission (FEC) about foreign offers of assistance, as well as legislation to provide more election funding and ban voting machines from being connected to the internet.

Previous attempts by a bipartisan group’s hopes were dashed in December when a GOP senator insisted the bipartisan legislation had been “designed” to be bad for Donald Trump, and must, therefore, be defeated. Various rejected bills included voting systems to use backup paper ballots and mandate tech safeguards, require candidates to notify law enforcement authorities in the event of a foreign power offering campaign assistance, etc. Seems the GOP do want election interference.

Democratic presidential nominee Michael Bloomberg has been accused of allegations of profane, sexist comments against women. When White House counselor Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway was asked if that was worse than Trump’s “Grab them by the p***y” comments, she said of course it is way worse. But just remember that there has been no proof of the allegations against him.

In the ever revolving door, John Rood, the Pentagon’s top policy official, is leaving his post. Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon, had lost support among senior national security leadership and was asked to resign. He has differed with the administration on a number of issues including Afghanistan and Ukraine. Rood was against withholding Ukraine aid.

As well, Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates is leaving the National Security Council and going to the Energy Department. Rumors have been circulating that Coates was the anonymous administration official who wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in 2018 and published a book last November titled: “A Warning” by Anonymous. A senior administration official said that Coates’ move has been in the works for some time and she’s not involved in the authoring.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky strongly rejected Trump’s claim that Ukraine is corrupt. Trump claimed that Ukraine is known as the third-most corrupt country in the world.

Trump has said that he will look to block the release of John Bolton’s upcoming book over claims that their discussions were classified, adding that his former national security adviser is a “traitor.” He insisted that Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” shouldn’t be published before the November election.

After President Barack Obama tweeted “Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history”, Trump tweeted “Did you hear the latest con job? President Obama is now trying to take credit for the Economic Boom taking place under the Trump Administration.”

Seriously? If Trump thinking that he is taking sole credit for the economic upswing… Trump didn’t kill the Recovery Act Annualized GDP growth averaged about 2% after it bottomed out in 2009 through the end of Obama’s term but 2.4% average growth rate during the last three years of Obama’s last term. Under Trump, it is slightly better at 2.5% but Trump promised 4%. Another broken promise. I’m sure he will blame someone else for not getting to 4%.

Trump claimed the US now has the “best jobs numbers ever” except in the last 36 months of Obama’s second term there were 8.1 million jobs created. Under Trump’s first 36 months there were 6.6 million jobs created.

Trump can’t claim the economy is doing well when in 2019, US retailers announced 9,302 store closings, a 59% jump from 2018 and the highest number since Coresight Research began tracking the data in 2012.

Remember when Trump bullied 16-year old Greta Thunberg on Twitter telling the teenager she needed to “chill out” and “work on her anger management”? White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham implied that social media attacks on a minor are fair game as long as that child is a public figure. Say if a 7 year old who has parents as public figures said something that Trump didn’t like, it would be OK for Trump to bully a 7 year old?

Trump is nothing but a big bully, picking on a 16 year old that is less than a quarter of his age. He is an adult and [we assume] has some common sense and some experience. But this is Trump who will fight back hard if any negative comments [no matter how small] are directed at him.

Trump takes lap around track to open Daytona 500 as the Grand Marshal, commanding: “Gentlemen, start your engines.” He is the second American president to do so, behind George W. Bush who attended the Daytona 500 in 2004. Speaking of which, an image was posted by a Trump doofus showing the presidential jet near the race track. It was pulled after it was discovered that the jet was from 2004, when Bush attended the race.

Trump, always like to inflate his already inflated ego, decided to take a full lap around the track prior to the race with “The Beat” [his limousine] as well as other vehicles. But in the end the race was postponed for 214 hours because of bad weather.

Pigeons with tiny Make American Great Again hats glued to their heads were released in downtown Las Vegas this week in what appears to be a sarcastic statement of loyalty to Trump and a mock protest of Nevada’s coming Democratic presidential caucuses. A group calling itself P.U.T.I.N., Pigeons United To Interfere Now, claimed responsibility for the stunt.

Trump, the chief of conspiracy theories

Donald Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory on Saturday evening alleging without evidence that former President Bill Clinton was connected to the death of wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, hours after Epstein was found dead by apparent suicide in his federal prison cell. Considering that Trump has claimed he hasn’t been around Epstein for something like 15 years, he has taken great interest in it.

“Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen,” wrote Terrence K. Williams, a conservative commentator and comedian, in the message retweeted by Trump. In a two-minute long selfie video recording, Williams alleged that the Clintons were responsible for Epstein’s death and falsely claims that Epstein was on suicide watch in the prison at the time of his death. He wasn’t. Somebody is missing a handful of screws.

And not surprised with the conspiracy nuts going nuts. One claims that “Twitter Removes #ClintonBodyCount with 84,000 Mentions from Trending List After Epstein Death – Replaces with Trump, Barr Hashtags”. Others claim that Epstein is still alive.

With Trump himself denying that he has been involved with Epstein for over a dozen years, it could further bit him in the butt if [for example] Epstein said under testimony the Trump was involved in his sex session with underage girls. Trump would also benefit from Epstein’s death. As the so-called president, he has the means for someone to do it on his behalf.

Since he came into office, Trump has always claimed how great the economy has been. His indicator was primarily that the stock market was rising. He isn’t a financial guru. Far from it. His tariff wars with other big economies – claiming that they have huge trade surpluses – is starting to hit the US economy. Just recently Trump postponed hitting China with more tariffs acknowledging [finally] that tariffs will raise prices on items that American buy. So he has delayed the next round until after the holiday buying season has ended.

Meanwhile, the bond market, for the first time in over a decade, flashed a warning signal that has an eerily accurate track record for predicting recessions. Right after, the major stock markets dropped over 2% each with the Dow Jones dropping 832 points following the warning. All the major economies, from Germany to the UK to India [with the slight exception of Canada] has been hit with economic issues.

Trump went after Federal Reserve chairman and Trump appointee Jay Powell on Twitter, blaming him for the problem and claiming that his tariffs are not hurting the economy. Again, [not defending him] Trump isn’t a financial guru. Analysts have said trade wars were in part behind recent troubles in financial markets as they raised costs and cast a layer of uncertainty on businesses and consumers.

With an upcoming election coming in 15 months, what Trump doesn’t need is a recession. A recession will hurt his re-election chances if his base starts to lose jobs or pay more for items that they need. He won’t be able to claim that the economy is doing so well. But knowing him, he would [who’s he fooling?].

Even with the Trump administration trying not to allow Russians from affecting the US economics and politics, the administration allowed a major Russian company, Rusal, to get a 40% stake in an aluminum mill in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The owner of Rusal is a friend of President Vladimir Poutine.

All this is even though the head of the Russian company has been sanctioned by the Mueller investigation. Two lobbyists working to get the mill built were formerly employed by McConnell. The owner is also friendly with the disgraced Paul Manafort.

One of Rusal’s lesser shareholders has since donated a total of $3.5 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by McConnell’s former chief of staff. Coincidence? McConnell pushed for Rusal’s eventual removal from sanctions.

With the unrest in Hong Kong, Trump tweeted ‘Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!”

He then added “Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?” Some Chinese officials believe that the US [or west] are backing the protesters. Unsure how.

Meanwhile the US Navy’s requests for two ships to make port visits in the coming weeks have been denied by the Chinese government. The US Navy never had any issues previously.

The Trump administration has informally green lit a potential major arms sale to Taiwan involving dozens of new F-16 fighter jets. The new weaponry could further erode ties, since Beijing views the self-governing island as part of China. Beijing has frequently protested the sales as a violation of China’s sovereignty despite the Chinese Communist Party having never governed the island.

Last month, the Trump administration approved selling 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks and portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Taiwan, an arms package valued at $2.2 billion. Since 2010, the US has announced more than $15 billion in arms sales to Taiwan.

In response to another round of tariffs aimed at China on September 1st, $300 billion worth, Chinese buyers have cancelled multi-billion dollar purchases of US soybeans. Regulators are threatening to place American companies on an “unreliable entities” list that might face curbs on their operations. But the tariffs have been delayed now until December 15th.

Bipartisan lawmakers and foreign policy advocates have spoken out publicly against the move to cancel $4 billion in funds to the State Department and US Agency for International Development, warning about their impact on US foreign policy priorities. The Trump administration has sought to decrease what it believes is wasteful spending and make foreign aid more conditional on support for US policies. White House officials believe they have the authority to cancel the funds without congressional approval.

[Scratching your head time.] Trump has on multiple occasions brought up buying Greenland from the Danish government and the White House counsel’s office has looked into the possibility. The island’s government, however, said in a statement it’s not going to happen: “Greenland is not for sale.”

Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, is home to Thule Air Base, the US military’s northernmost base, located about 750 miles above the Arctic Circle and built in 1951. The radar and listening post features a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System that can warn of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles and reaches thousands of miles into Russian territory.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that Republicans may need to find a candidate to replace Trump in 2020. “We are now in the early episodes of ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process,” Scaramucci, who was ousted from his job after 11 days.

Trump decided to go after Bill Maher by tweeting “So many lies. He said patients in El Paso hospital didn’t want to meet with me. Wrong! Had really great meetings with numerous patients.” Except is known that some did refuse to see him. “He is right about one thing, though. I will win again in 2020. Otherwise, he pays 95% in taxes!” Wonder where he got the ridiculous 95% from. Oh forget hit.

The fake facts in chief mentioned the following recently:

  • First claiming that China had just posted its worst economic growth in 27 years. Later he said it was 35 years. Nothing changed in a week.
  • The remains of the soldiers from the Korean War will continue to come through Hawaii. In fact, North Korea has stopped cooperating with the remains recovery initiative and that the effort has been suspended for this year.
  • “There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests. No long-range missiles.” Actually, North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles, even short range ones.
  • “As you know, we’ve got 32,000 soldiers on South Korean soil, and we’ve been helping them for about 82 years.” Actually 26,000 active personnel and the US has been in South Korea since the end of World War II – 74 years ago.
    “You have drug dealers that get not even 30 days, and they’ve killed 25 people.” Good luck in finding any evidence that this is true.
  • Trump claims that he has given farmers $16 billion to offset their loss from Chines tariffs. In fact, his $28 billion pledge to farmers exceeds the total tariff revenues as of last month [$21 billion].
  • “Americans are not paying for the Tariffs — they are being paid for compliments of China, and the U.S. is taking in tens of Billions of Dollars!” What the stable economics genius forgets is that American importers make the actual tariff payments, and economic studies have found that Americans have borne most of the cost.

Here we go again. Trump spewing #fakefacts, this time at a speech in Pennsylvania that was not supposed to be a campaign rally. Instead it was about energy.

  • “Pennsylvania has the best numbers they’ve ever had in the history of this state.” – Actually the best since 1976 but not ever.
  • “I built good.” – Yes. This is president of the US talking.
  • “…now nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book…” – You cannot be the President and have other income according to the constitution. But that doesn’t stop former Presidents. And in this case it is $65 million for both Obama and his wife.
  • “We’re building a lot of wall.” – Just 46.7 miles of border wall have been built since Trump came into office.
  • Virginia “hasn’t been won by a Republican in a long time.” – Before Obama in 2008, the last Democrats to win in Virginia goes back to Lyndon Johnson.

Note that this wasn’t a campaign rally but Trump representing the country. So the gathering used taxpayer money. And yet he started to whine about Democrat hopefuls and other political stuff in addition to the above.

Trump recently took credit for building a $6 billion Shell plant in Pennsylvania that was announced in 2012 under President Obama. I don’t think you can build a refinery and have it running in under 30 months.

Trump also claimed the steel manufacturing was “dead”. It has declined maybe 1800 jobs in the past 4 months but still has over 379,300 workers.

Trump claimed that US Steel was to open or expand six facilities in 2018. Instead US steel is reducing production in 2 plants because of tariffs.

Trump claimed that Exxon Mobil recently invested in the gulf coast was because of him administration’s policies in fact was started in 2013.

Trump also took credit as his idea to install solar panels on border walls when the idea came from a private company.

In the past, Trump even took credit for inventing the word caravan!

Trump claims that he has lost between $3 and $5 billion in taking the current job instead of whatever he normally does. Of course this may or may not include at least one bankruptcy. If he is upset that he supposedly lost that much then resign!

In the ongoing attempt to curb immigration, a new rule came into effect by the Trump administration where many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education.

The Trump administration announced significant changes that would weaken how the Endangered Species Act is implemented, a move critics fear will allow for more oil and gas drilling and limit how much regulators consider the impacts of the climate crisis. That act was credited with saving the bald eagle and grizzly bear from extinction.

The rule was panned by environmental groups that question Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s motives, given his past work representing oil and gas companies. Conservationists and environmentalists will be lining up to challenge this revisions to the act.

In the usual “what was he smoking” announcement, Trump has claimed for years that he was once named “Michigan Man of the Year,” a title that does not exist. Who announces any “year” awards in the middle of summer?

Bad week for Trump

This past Tuesday may go down as the worst day for Donald Trump in his administration.

In a busy day, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to eight criminal counts, admitting that “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office” he acted to keep information that would have been harmful to the candidate and the campaign from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle. Cohen faces up to 65 years in prison.

Cohen’s under-oath admission — in which he said he violated campaign finance law “in coordination and at the direction” of Trump — holds specific and significant weight for Trump. If the prosecution can show that a candidate knew about the violation and knew about the act and participated, then the candidate can be personally liable.

The charges expose, through the criminal information filed against Cohen in court, that he acted with Trump and his allies, including David Pecker, the CEO of the National Enquirer’s publisher, American Media Inc., to suppress potentially damaging claims against the now-President. Though Trump himself isn’t named, the court filing refers to an Individual-1, who by January 2017 had become president of the United States. Pecker has received immunity.

The National Enquirer kept a safe containing documents about hush-money payments and damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump leading up to 2016 presidential election. The contents were removed them from the safe in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration. It was unclear whether the documents were destroyed or simply moved to a location known to fewer people.

Not surprising, Trump lashed out at Cohen of making up “stories in order to get a ‘deal”‘ from federal prosecutors. Trump, a legal expert [sarcasm], said, “Michael Cohen plead (sic) guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime.”

Cohen’s lawyer already stated that Cohen isn’t looking for a pardon and I don’t think Trump would giving him one after throwing him under the bus.

Trump also complained that “President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!” Trump was apparently referring to a fine levied on the former president’s 2008 campaign over missing and delayed disclosure of high-dollar donors in the final days of that race. I don’t think you can compare as one clearly influenced the election.

Trump changes his story again saying “What Michael Cohen pled to weren’t crimes,” Trump told Fox News, suggesting Cohen accepted a plea deal on the campaign finance violations because the other crimes he admitted to were more serious. “He made a great deal. He was in another business totally unrelated to me where I guess there was fraud involved.”

Trump forgets [or maybe not] that Cohen’s testimony against him is not that Trump paid Cohen who paid the two women but did so to use campaign money for something that wasn’t campaign related and possibly alter or hide information that could affect the election outcome.

Trump claimed payments to women shouldn’t be a campaign finance issue because “they didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.” Let him prove he used his money and it sounds like he admits to knowing that money was paid. He also claimed that Cohen worked for him for a decade, saying he was just a “part-time attorney” who had many other clients. With the trouble Trump gets into, I doubt many. Or many continuously.

Trump suggested that Cohen’s legal trouble stemmed from his other businesses, including involvement with the New York City taxi cab industry, and that he decided to offer “lies” about Trump to reduce his own legal exposure. I don’t think Cohen’s issues with the taxi industry is anything but small potatoes compared to his political side.

White House press secretary, Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders, said “I’m not getting into the back and forth details. I can tell you as the President has stated on numerous occasions, he did nothing wrong. There are no charges against him in this. Just because Michael Cohen made a plea deal doesn’t mean that implicates the President on anything.” Except Cohen is under oath and doesn’t need additional jail time for lying under oath and we already know Trump knows nothing about the law.

When a reporter asked Sanders if Trump ever lied to Americans [for example where Trump said he knew nothing about the payments but now seems to remember], Sanders replied ” I think that’s a ridiculous accusation. …. There are no charges against him.” So she didn’t really answer and no charges yet. She referred substantive questions to the president’s personal counsel, Rudy Giuliani, who was at a golf course in Scotland – nice coincidence.

“It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time,” Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said. Is he serious? If so, Trump was fooled with Cohen doing this as his lawyer for 12 years. What does that tell you about Trump [that we already don’t know]?

Sen. Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the Senate said “President should not be held responsible for the actions of the people he’s trusted.” Ummm. Trump is their boss. He has the ultimate responsibility.

A former federal prosecutor said “No longer can you say Mueller is on a witch hunt when you have his own lawyer pleading guilty to things that were designed to impact the election.” But Trump, not a lawyer, will ignore that and his followers will as well.

And Cohen’s lawyers get even more busy as investigators in New York state issued a subpoena to Michael Cohen as part of their probe into the Trump Foundation. Cohen could potentially be a significant source of information for state investigators looking into whether Trump or his charity broke state law or lied about their tax liability.

If evidence of alleged crimes is found, the matter could be referred to prosecutors, who could pursue criminal charges and seek the release of Trump’s tax returns.

Meanwhile, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes, a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller. But jurors were unable to reach a verdict on 10 charges, and Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those counts. Manafort was found guilty of five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.

One of the jurors from Paul Manafort’s trial said that although she “did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty,” the evidence was “overwhelming. … We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail. We laid it out in front of her again and again and she still said that she had a reasonable doubt.” The juror held out on 10 counts but agreed on 8.

He still faces a second set of criminal charges in a Washington, DC, federal court, of failure to register his foreign lobbying and of money laundering conspiracy related to the same Ukrainian political work that was central to the Virginia case.

Not surprising, Trump said that the charges Manafort was convicted of have “nothing to do with Russian collusion” and criticized Mueller’s investigation for arriving at this point.

Some higher up Republicans are already saying Manafort shouldn’t be pardoned as it could add “interfering with an investigation” according to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, whose entanglements with Trump’s finances are extensive, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for providing information about Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen. The interview, which focused on Cohen and the payments, happened weeks ago under a deal negotiated by his attorney.

Weisselberg, whose relationship with Trump dates back decades, is also the treasurer of Trump’s charity, helped prepared Trump’s tax returns and is the only non-family member to serve as trustee of the trust that holds the President’s interest in his own companies. “Allen knows where all the financial bodies are buried. Allen knows every deal, he knows every dealership, he knows every sale, anything and everything that’s been done” said one person.

“I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job,” Trump said in response in an interview, who asked if he believes Democrats would try to impeach him if they win back control of Congress. Doing a “great” job has nothing to do with doing something illegal or un-American. “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor.” I don’t think the market crashed from the previous impeachments.

“I give myself an A+. I don’t think any President has ever done what I have done,” Trump said inflating his ego by himself even more. “…Soon to be two unbelievable Supreme Court justices…” He judges his performance by maybe getting 2 supreme court justices appointed? If normal justices are nominated, there shouldn’t be any doubt they get appointed.

Trump sharply decried those who testify against former confidants to ease legal trouble, bemoaning the longstanding practice. “It’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal,” Trump said in the interview. So he now wants to rewrite the justice system. “I know all about flipping, 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers.” So he knows a lot of people who ended up in prison. What a good judge of personality.

Trump tweeted “‘Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.’ Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the “other side” including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks,…” Or maybe Sessions meant something coming from Trump or his minions.

As we know already, Trump knows nothing about the legal system. Case in point. There is no such federal crime for collusion and yet he keeps on saying it. Trump could be damaged politically should there be findings of conspiracy or obstruction of justice in a report special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to deliver at the conclusion of the investigation.

White House counsel Don McGahn has cooperated extensively with Mueller’s probe, participating in several interviews spanning 30 hours over the last nine months. McGahn has provided “detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether Trump obstructed justice,” including providing information that the Mueller team otherwise would not have learned about.

McGahn’s decision to cooperate was partly due to the fact that the President’s initial legal team had decided to fully cooperate with Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump tweeted “I allowed White House Counsel Don McGahn, and all other requested members of the White House Staff, to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel. In addition we readily gave over one million pages of documents. Most transparent in history. No Collusion, No Obstruction.” I don’t think there is anything to compare between previous probes such as Watergate and this mess.

Yes. There is other news related to Trump.

If the administration can’t get any lower or more controversial, now there is talk of pulling President Barrack Obama’s security clearance. This would be unprecedented. It has been a long standing that any living president had access [if they wanted it] to the latest security briefings [for example]. While they ate not a leader and of limited influence, they were given continued access when they met foreign leaders or even if the current president requires advise. In the case of possibly revoking Obama’s access this is all political.

Regarding the removal of the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and probably nine others former and current security official from his and President Obama’s administration, Trump tied his dislike of the Russian probe to them. But White House spokeswoman Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said it was his “erratic conduct and behavior”.

Trump joined supporters in Charleston, West Virginia, for a political rally to celebrate his administration’s proposal to allow states to set their own emissions standards for coal-fueled power plants. The move would reverse Obama administration efforts to combat climate change and marks the fulfillment of a campaign promise at the heart of his appeal.

The EPA formally unveiled the details of its new plan to devolve regulation of coal-fired power plants back to the states, one that is expected to give a boost to the coal industry and increase carbon emissions nationwide. If there is a bright side, the states [assuming they are sane] can keep the current regulations as is or limited modifications. Since 2007, coal production has dropped from around 1150 “short” tons in 2007 to about 750 “short” tons in 2017.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler argued the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan — the policy being replaced by this week’s proposal — “exceeded the agency’s legal authority” and argued the old regulations led to rising energy prices which have “hurt low and middle income Americans the most.” EPA says the rule could cut electricity prices by 0.2% to 0.5% around 2025. So for a $100 invoice, someone will save 20 cents or a bit more. Meanwhile, what about the pollution? Lung disease, asthma or premature deaths?

Giuliani used the line “truth isn’t truth” when he was trying to make the case that having Trump sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team wouldn’t accomplish much because of the he-said-she-said nature of witnesses’ recollections.

Giuliani cited as an example former FBI Director James Comey, who has said that Trump pushed him at a private meeting to ease up in the federal investigation of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump has disputed that. But as a lawyer doesn’t he know that it is the court to decide who is saying the truth [with witnesses]? Did he actually go to law school?

Giuliani said that the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between senior Trump campaign officials and Russians “was originally for the purpose of getting information about (Hillary) Clinton,” but denied any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. If you remember, Trump and others said the meetings originally for adoption matters. This further hammers a nail against Donald Trump Jr. who stated it was for adoptions. Perjury?

Trump tweeted “… But virtually everybody is saying this, & when our Trade Deals are made, & cost cutting done, you haven’t seen anything yet!” Yes. Cost cutting usually means jobs cuts. “Companies are moving back to the U.S.A.” They moved out? Who came back?

Trump tweeted “Our Economy is setting records on virtually every front – Probably the best our country has ever done. Tremendous value created since the Election. The World is respecting us again! Companies are moving back to the U.S.A.” Yup. Records? After shutting down more than 5,000 stores in 2017, there have been more than 4,000 store closures announced so far this year [after 8 months].If the world was respecting the US, North Korea wouldn’t still be developing nuclear bombs, no need for tariffs, etc.

Who is Putin fooling?

This sound like all the hallmark of a dictator in trouble:

“The situation around our country will change for the better, but not because we will make concessions, bend down, or trifle with someone.”

No it isn’t Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, late Cuban President Fidel Castro or some other crackpot but Russian President Vladimir Poutine [sorry Putin, but I still like when the French Canadian press uses that word].

So let’s see what is happening in Russia. There is a huge drop in the barrel of oil. Oil is one of the biggest exports for Russian. While they do have other exports, like in Alberta, Canada, the drop in the barrel has hurt the economy.

But add to the economic problems is the freeze in assets of the wealthy from western countries because of the invasion [for a lack of better words] of the Ukraine. Also imports into Russia and export from Russia has dropped considerably to the point where Russia needs to sell military equipment to less desirable countries [Syria is rumored to be included] as well as Egypt [there sat on the fence between Russia and the west].

With the economic problems come increasing other issues. For example, while vodka is cheap still compared to the west, some ingredients need to be imported from the west. Because of the increased cost, the less fortunate are resorting to drink moonshine as well as some “drinks” that have known to be quite harmful. Many have died drinking the stuff.

As for Putin, he still has his Dachas. But he puts the blame on the west claiming “attempts at political isolation, economic pressure, large scale information war and instruments of special services” – whatever the last one means.

He also complained about NATO getting closer to Russia, US led missile defense program and the development of long range conventional weapons – as if Russia hasn’t developed any.

Finally, Putin claims that Russia exposed 52 foreign “intelligence” officers and 290 agents of theirs. [It is long known in diplomatic fights that one country throws out spies even though at least some are not. The tit for tat stuff.

Well good luck to him. Wonder what happens when we get close to the next presidential Russian election in 2018.